7 Vital Vitamins To Ensure A Healthy Vegan Pregnancy (And The Richest Sources To Get Them From)

Yes, it’s totally possible to have a healthy, balanced vegan pregnancy if that’s your goal; it just takes planning.

Here are the 7 vital vitamins you should pay attention to should you be planning to conceive and how to get them on a vegan diet!

Beta Carotene 

Why it’s vital to make a healthy baby and pregnancy?

Crucial for enzymes for implantation of your fertilised egg. Essential for growth and development of foetus including his or her heart, lungs, kidneys, bones, and for hearing and vision. Also needed for infection resistance, fat metabolism and red blood cell production. Helps keep DNA (genetic blueprint) healthy. Vitamin A is crucial for women about to give birth, as it helps with postpartum tissue repair.

Rich Sources:

Mangoes, Apricots, Peaches, Cantaloupe Melons, Watermelon, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Red/Yellow Peppers, Tomatoes, Green Leafy Vegetables (eg Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Brussel Sprouts, Bok Choy), Watercress, Pumpkins, Romaine Lettuce, Chestnuts, Pistachio nuts

B Vitamins

Why it’s vital to make a healthy baby and pregnancy?

Vital for making your sex hormones. Needed for converting food into energy. For creating new blood cells for growing baby and aiding growth, healthy vision and skin in your baby. Essential for your baby’s nerve, brain, bone and muscle development. Vitamin B6 can help reduce morning sickness (beans, nuts, avocados and bananas are good sources)

Rich sources:

Wholegrains (Wheat, Rice, Oats, Rye, Buckwheat, Barley etc); Beansprouts, Pulses (Lentils, Beans and Peas of all types inc Soya Beans and French Beans), Avocados, Bananas, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms, Red Peppers, Carrots, Cabbage, Nuts (eg Peanuts, Almonds, Brazil Nuts), Quinoa. Different B vitamins are in different foods so variety is the key.

Vitamin B9 (folic acid)

Vital for prevention of Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects and needed in first 28 days of pregnancy – so you need to take from preconception. If you are pregnant or thinking of having a baby, consider taking a daily 0.4mg (400 microgram) folic acid supplement from the time you stop using contraception until the 12th week of pregnancy. Also supports the placenta.

Rich sources:

Berries, Mangoes, Pineapples, Avocados, Green Leafy Vegetables, Cauliflower, Asparagus, Parsnips, Pulses (eg Peas, Chickpeas, Kidney Beans, Black Eye Peas, Lentils, Edamame & Soya products eg Tofu), Brown Rice, Seeds (eg Sunflower Seeds), check if breakfast cereal is fortified

Vitamin C

Essential for formation of collagen (in pregnancy keeps protective membrane around baby strong). Collagen is also a component of skin, cartilage, tendons and bones. Also helps fight infections and cell damage. Helps you absorb iron. Mum and baby need a daily supply of this vitamin.

Rich sources:

Blackcurrants, Kiwis, Mangoes, Oranges, Papayas, Grapefruits, Passion Fruits, Pineapples, Strawberries, Lychees, Chestnuts, Avocados, Butternut Squash, Broccoli, Spinach, Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Brussel Sprouts, Bell Peppers (any colour), Parsley, Potatoes, Peas and many other fresh fruit & green vegetables

Vitamin D

Essential for tooth enamel and bone development in your developing baby. A deficiency during pregnancy can slow growth and cause skeletal deformities, putting baby at risk of rickets after birth.

Rich sources:

Sunlight on Skin; Fortified Margarine, Fortified Breakfast Cereals

Vitamin E

Protects vital genetic blueprint (RNA and DNA) reducing risk of congenital defects.

Rich sources

Apples, Berries (all types), Kiwis, Mangoes, Nectarines, Peaches, Vegetable Oils, Wheatgerm, Wholegrains, Tomatoes, Nuts (esp. Almonds, Hazelnuts), Sunflower Seeds, Pine Nuts, Avocados, Asparagus, Butternut Squash, Parsnips, Potatoes, Spinach, Carrots, Celery

Vitamin K

Supplied by food but main source is from gut bacteria. Baby is born sterile so must rely on mum’s supply from breast milk or formula milk for several weeks. Eat plenty of dark green veg.

Rich sources:

Avocados, Berries, Pears, Kiwis, Mangoes, Pomegranates, Broccoli, Lettuces, Cucumbers, Celery, Carrots, Asparagus, Spinach, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Bok Choy, Leeks, Edamame, Kidney Beans, Molasses, Peas, Basil, Thyme, Nuts (eg Cashews, Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, Pistachios).